December 19, 2015
Garnering bipartisan support in the committee weeks leading up to the 2016 legislative session, a measure that expands a scholarship program to help families of disabled children cover special education-related costs cleared all referenced committees and is headed to the floor in both the House and the Senate. SB 672 (Gaetz, D.) and HB 7011 (Education Appropriations Subcommittee) expand the Personal Learning Scholarship Account (PLSA) Program to include eligibility for students with autism spectrum disorder and muscular dystrophy, as well as 3- and 4-year-olds. Provisions of the legislation also authorize reimbursement for transition services by job coaches allowing students to learn the skills necessary to become workforce ready.
FCCB Associate Director for Education, James Herzog,
in support of the proposal before the House Education Committee and requested a yes vote from the members as a positive step for "each child's unique, customizable academic and career journey."
Andrea Wiggins, a mother of five, also testified about the PLSA program. She told the Senate Education Committee the accounts allow her to afford Catholic school tuition for her daughter, who has multiple special needs. But unlike traditional school choice programs, it also helps her afford tutoring and additional curriculum materials to help her daughter at home. The account, Wiggins said, "allows me to build the exact educational environment and plan that will best suit her needs."
Read more at the redefinED blog